TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and members of the Council of the Cherokee Nation met Sept. 24 to officially sign the Cherokee Heritage Center Act of 2020. The Council of the Cherokee Nation unanimously approved the legislation during a special council meeting held shortly before the official signing.
As part of the Cherokee Heritage Center Act of 2020, the existing Cherokee National Historical Society organization will dissolve and transfer all assets, including the iconic Cherokee Heritage Center, to the Cherokee Nation. The legislation also creates a new Cherokee National Historical Society under the laws of the Cherokee Nation to provide continued oversight and guidance for the facility and its holdings.
“With the signing of this monumental legislation, the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee National Historical Society are taking significant, strategic actions to ensure long-term growth and stability of the Cherokee Heritage Center, which is at the very heart of our rich Cherokee history and culture,” Chief Hoskin said. “For decades, the Cherokee Heritage Center has been instrumental in not only documenting and preserving Cherokee history but doing so in a way that is respectful of our culture and truly enlightening to those who have visited from around the world. I believe the future of the Cherokee Heritage Center is bright as we take this profound step toward making it the world-class institution we all envision.”
The Cherokee Heritage Center was established in 1963 by the Cherokee National Historical Society to preserve and promote the Cherokee culture. It is also home to the Cherokee National Archives, the Nation’s foremost collection of historic, tribal-related documents and cultural treasures from the 1700s through present day.
“Today we celebrate the promising future that awaits the Cherokee Heritage Center, Cherokee National Archives and the Cherokee Family Research Center,” said Brenda Partain, CNHS board president. “By working together, we can ensure that the history, culture and arts of the Cherokee people continue to thrive for generations to come. I want to thank the administration and the CNHS board of trustees for all their efforts, but most importantly I want to thank our loyal and dedicated team members. Their steadfast commitment and passion have fueled our organization thus far and will continue to help shape our future.”
The legislation approved Thursday by the Council and signed by Chief Hoskin was also unanimously endorsed by the Cherokee National Historical Society board of trustees earlier this month. The transition is expected to be complete by the end of the year and will be seamless to the public and staff.